July 4, 2021
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Call to Worship (adapted from The Message, Ps. 48)One: When people of faith gather, we ponder God’s love-in-action.
Many: Even speaking God’s name evokes “Hallelujahs”.
One: Hallelujah! God does what God declares,
Many: and we are glad! Praise the Lord!
One: This is our God forever!
Many: So let’s give thanks to the One who guides us to the end of time.
God of action,
we give you thanks and praise your holy name
for the ways you act in love through all generations.
Accept our worship.
Continue to guide us into community,
despite the ways we’re separated by time, space,
and so many differences.
Let your Spirit blow through this congregation, infusing us with power,
that we might act to build up your Realm in all we say and all we do.
Moment for Stewardship
Mark tells of the time Jesus came back to Nazareth, his hometown. Rather than being welcomed by crowds, however, people took offense at him!
Can’t you just hear them? “Who does he think he is? We know his whole family! What makes him so special? I remember changing his diapers!”
Jesus recognized he could do no deed of power there, except “he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.”
Even when he faced the derision of his home-town people, Jesus offered what he could!
What about you? Are you sometimes tempted to just stay quiet with your family or friends about being a follower of Jesus? Have you ever had people mock you for your faith, or your engagement in the church?
In a world in which it’s no longer expected that everyone will go to church, making the decision follow Jesus — to participate with your time and talents and share your financial resources — is an important way to offer what YOU can.
Your active engagement helps show others you’re offering what you can as a follower/disciple of Jesus, the Christ. So let’s joyfully bring our tithes, our gifts and our offerings to help this congregation witness to the power of Jesus.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you for the history which we learn from scripture, from study, from times with other people of faith. Thank you that what we bring as our offering becomes a sign/symbol of our desire to follow Jesus through every season of life.
So receive these gifts. Help them be used to share Good News with a struggling world, that your will might be done on earth, even as it is in heaven. AMEN
Invitation to Communion
(if you have someone who could sing CH#429 “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart”, that could introduce the invitation, be communion music or be used as a communion hymn)
In Mark’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus called the twelve, and then sent them out. His instructions were to take nothing for their journey, but to depend on others for basic hospitality (food and a safe place to stay).
Perhaps these early followers remembered the story of their ancestors, traveling through the Wilderness, dependent on God for daily manna, quail and safety. They might have recalled God’s care for Jonah, despite his efforts to run away from God’s assignment and being sent right back to Ninevah.
Today, we disciples of Jesus Christ, recall these stories and recognize we, too, are dependent on others for basic hospitality. The Table is spread before us, with “gifts of finest wheat”.
As you come to share in this bread and cup, know you stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Like them, we receive nourishment and are sent out to engage in God’s work.
Let this be our prayer today: (if no one can sing this, you might speak it)
With joyful lips we sing to you our praise and gratitude
that you should count us worthy, Lord, to share this heavenly food.
The mystery of your presence, Lord, no mortal tongue can tell:
Whom all the world cannot contain comes in our hearts to dwell.
You give yourself to us, O Lord; then self-less let us be,
to serve each other in your name in truth and charity.